2022

Doctoral student honored by Society of General Internal Medicine with 2022 award for research


Dr. Katherine Chen, a FSPH doctorate student, was recognized for research into impact of housing costs and residential moves on renters’ health.

Dr. Katherine Chen

Dr. Katherine Chen, a physician earning her doctorate at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, has received the Society of General Internal Medicine’s 2022 “Mack Lipkin, Sr. Award” for best scientific presentation by a trainee for her work on the impact of housing costs on renter’s health.

“We know that staying in unaffordable housing is clearly linked to adverse health outcomes, health behaviors, and health care use; and we also know that formal evictions – the majority of which are due to unpaid rent – also contribute to worse health outcomes,” said Chen, who earned her MD at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and currently holds a primary care research fellowship in the Department of Medicine. “But is moving to try to find cheaper housing and avoid eviction, like 1.8 million renter households do each year in the U.S., any better for health?”

Chen’s past research has been published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, the official journal of the Society of General Internal Medicine (SGIM), and she presented work from a follow-up study at the Society’s annual meeting in April. Her talk, titled “Cost-Related Residential Moves are Associated with Adverse Health Outcomes and Behaviors Among California’s Renters,” was one of three winning presentations selected from the twelve finalists honored at the conference.

“There has been previous research on the effects of gentrification on health outcomes, but this was the first one that I’m aware of that specifically tested the impact of cost-related housing displacement at the individual-level on health outcomes,” said Dr. Frederick Zimmerman, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of health policy and management and Chen’s advisor. “I was surprised—and dismayed—by how large and robust the findings were. No one would want such adverse health effects for themselves. Public policy should endeavor to ensure that adequate housing is generated for all to achieve stable housing. It’s a real health issue.”

Chen’s research is based on data collected by the California Health Interview Survey (CHIS), conducted by the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health's UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, led by Dr. Ninez Ponce. People who had recently moved due to unaffordable housing, compared to moving for other reasons or not moving, had worse self-rated health, greater psychological distress, and lower odds of finding time for exercise.

“Think of it this way: getting to a medical or dental appointment, or even simply picking up a prescription at the pharmacy, takes time out of the day; now couple that with the stress of dealing with unstable income or an increase in rent plus the disruption of being forced to leave one’s home, one’s routines, and find something better, or at least more affordable,” Chen said. “I have seen in my clinical practice and my research that these issues add up and can be very detrimental to a person’s overall health.”

Based on CHIS data, Chen and her fellow researchers found that:

  • Compared to not moving, cost-related moves were associated with adverse health outcomes, behavior, and health care use outcomes, even after adjusting for a long list of sociodemographic covariates. Although the magnitude of these associations was small, the large number of renters affected by and at risk for these moves may make this important at the population scale.
  • While all moves can be disruptive, cost-related moves, compared to non-cost-related moves, are particularly associated with worse health outcomes and behavior, while health care use outcomes were similarly bad among both types of moves.
  • Black and Hispanic renters were at significantly higher risk for cost-related moves compared to White renters. Racial/ethnic disparities in the prevalence of these moves, which might result from factors like differing economic opportunities and/or discrimination in housing, could represent a mechanism by which structural racism drives health disparities.

Chen has been at UCLA since 2011; she completed an undergraduate degree in molecular cellular and developmental biology at Yale University in 2010, earned her M.D. at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA in 2015, and completed her residency in Internal Medicine at UCLA in 2018, where she was chief resident in 2018-19. Chen completed the National Clinician Scholars Program, also at UCLA, in 2021, and is currently a clinical instructor in the UCLA Department of Medicine and a fellow in the National Research Service Award T32 Primary Care Research Fellowship and the Specialty Training and Advanced Research Program.


The UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, founded in 1961, is dedicated to enhancing the public's health by conducting innovative research, training future leaders and health professionals from diverse backgrounds, translating research into policy and practice, and serving our local communities and the communities of the nation and the world. The school has 761 students from 26 nations engaged in carrying out the vision of building healthy futures in greater Los Angeles, California, the nation and the world.

Faculty Referenced by this Article

Dr. Frederick Zimmerman
Frederick Zimmerman
Health Policy and Management
Read Faculty Profile
Dr. Ninez Ponce
Ninez Ponce
Health Policy and Management
Read Faculty Profile
Dr. Kenneth Wells
Kenneth Wells
Health Policy and Management
Read Faculty Profile
Faculty/staff profile placeholder image
Neal Halfon
Health Policy and Management
Read Faculty Profile
Vickie Mays
Vickie Mays
Health Policy and Management
Read Faculty Profile
Faculty/staff profile placeholder image
Thomas Priselac
Health Policy and Management
Read Faculty Profile
Laura Erskine
Laura Erskine
Health Policy and Management
Read Faculty Profile
Dr. Aria Fallah
Aria Fallah
Health Policy and Management
Read Faculty Profile
Yusuke Tsugawa
Yusuke Tsugawa
Health Policy and Management
Read Faculty Profile
Faculty/staff profile placeholder image
Annette Maxwell
Health Policy and Management
Read Faculty Profile
Dr. Elizabeth (Becky) Yano
Elizabeth (Becky) Yano
Health Policy and Management
Read Faculty Profile
Isomi Miake-Lye
Isomi Miake-Lye
Health Policy and Management
Read Faculty Profile
Dr. Stephanie Taylor
Stephanie L. Taylor

Nationally recognized health services researcher and sociomedical scientist with 25+ years' experience in effectiveness and implementation research.

Health Policy and Management
Read Faculty Profile
Dr. Naomi Zewde
Naomi Zewde
Health Policy and Management
Read Faculty Profile
Comanor, Bill
William Comanor
Health Policy and Management
Read Faculty Profile
Michael Ong
Michael Ong
Health Policy and Management
Read Faculty Profile
Moira Inkelas
Moira Inkelas
Health Policy and Management
Read Faculty Profile
Dr. Kristen Choi
Kristen Choi
Health Policy and Management
Read Faculty Profile
Dr. Arturo Vargas Bustamante
Arturo Vargas Bustamante
Health Policy and Management
Read Faculty Profile
silhoette
Ty Robbins
Health Policy and Management
Read Faculty Profile
Dr. Felicia Hodge
Felicia Hodge
Health Policy and Management
Read Faculty Profile
Dr. Joann Elmore
Joann G. Elmore
Health Policy and Management
Read Faculty Profile
Kadiyala, Srikanth
Srikanth Kadiyala
Health Policy and Management
Read Faculty Profile
Faculty/staff profile placeholder image
Mark Litwin
Health Policy and Management
Read Faculty Profile
James Macinko
James Macinko

Professor of Community Health Sciences & Health Policy and Management, and Associate Dean for Research

Community Health Sciences Health Policy and Management
Read Faculty Profile
Nadereh Pourat
Nadereh Pourat
Health Policy and Management
Read Faculty Profile
Dr. Thomas Rice
Thomas Rice
Health Policy and Management
Read Faculty Profile
Jeanne Miranda
Jeanne Miranda
Health Policy and Management
Read Faculty Profile
Faculty/staff profile placeholder image
Lori Pelliccioni
Health Policy and Management
Read Faculty Profile
Diana Hilberman
Diana Hilberman
Health Policy and Management
Read Faculty Profile
Dr. Paul Fu, Jr.
Paul Fu, Jr.
Health Policy and Management
Read Faculty Profile
Aronberg, Sandra
Sandra Aronberg
Health Policy and Management
Read Faculty Profile
Paul Chung
Paul Chung
Health Policy and Management
Read Faculty Profile
Gerald Kominski
Gerald Kominski
Health Policy and Management
Read Faculty Profile
Jack Needleman
Jack Needleman
Health Policy and Management
Read Faculty Profile
Faculty/staff profile placeholder image
Brennan Spiegel
Health Policy and Management
Read Faculty Profile
Dr. Jennifer Wortham
Jennifer Wortham
Health Policy and Management
Read Faculty Profile
Faculty/staff profile placeholder image
Ron Andersen

Dr. Ron Andersen is the Wasserman Professor Emeritus in the UCLA Departments of Health Policy and Management.

Health Policy and Management
Read Faculty Profile
Gordon headshot
Thomas D. Gordon
Health Policy and Management
Read Faculty Profile
Freund, Deborah
Deborah Anne Freund
Health Policy and Management
Read Faculty Profile
Balgrosky headshot
Jean Balgrosky
Health Policy and Management
Read Faculty Profile
Faculty/staff profile placeholder image
Jose J. Escarce
Health Policy and Management
Read Faculty Profile
Dr. Beth Glenn
Beth Glenn
Health Policy and Management
Read Faculty Profile
Robert Kaplan
Robert Kaplan
Health Policy and Management
Read Faculty Profile
Ron D. Hays
Ron D. Hays

@UCLA since 1997

Health Policy and Management
Read Faculty Profile
Michelle Keller
Michelle S. Keller

Dr. Michelle S. Keller is a health services researcher whose research focuses on the use and prescribing of high-risk medications.

Health Policy and Management
Read Faculty Profile
Emily Abel
Emily Abel
Health Policy and Management
Read Faculty Profile
Dr. Lillian Gelberg
Lillian Gelberg
Health Policy and Management
Read Faculty Profile
Corrina Moucheraud
Corrina Moucheraud
Health Policy and Management
Read Faculty Profile
Dr. Jonathan Fielding
Jonathan Fielding
Health Policy and Management
Read Faculty Profile
Faculty/staff profile placeholder image
Robert Brook
Health Policy and Management
Read Faculty Profile
Dr. William McCarthy
William J. McCarthy
Health Policy and Management
Read Faculty Profile
Avram Kaplan
Avram Kaplan
Health Policy and Management
Read Faculty Profile
Clifford Ko
Clifford Ko
Health Policy and Management
Read Faculty Profile
Burt Cowgill
Burt Cowgill
Health Policy and Management
Read Faculty Profile
Dr. Samuel Sessions
Samuel Sessions
Health Policy and Management
Read Faculty Profile
Olivia Jung
Olivia Jung
Health Policy and Management
Read Faculty Profile
Dr. Dylan Roby
Dylan Roby
Health Policy and Management
Read Faculty Profile
Dr. Alice Kuo
Alice Kuo
Health Policy and Management
Read Faculty Profile
Dr. Xi Zhu
Xi Zhu
Health Policy and Management
Read Faculty Profile
Davidson - headshop
Pamela Davidson
Health Policy and Management
Read Faculty Profile
Jody Heymann
Jody Heymann
Epidemiology Health Policy and Management
Read Faculty Profile
Dr. John Lu
Z. John Lu
Health Policy and Management
Read Faculty Profile
Dr. Risha Gidwani
Risha Gidwani
Health Policy and Management
Read Faculty Profile
Image of Dr. Susan Ettner
Susan Ettner
Health Policy and Management
Read Faculty Profile
Faculty/staff profile placeholder image
Arlene Fink
Health Policy and Management
Read Faculty Profile
Faculty/staff profile placeholder image
Alan Tomines
Health Policy and Management
Read Faculty Profile
Rosenstock
Linda Rosenstock
Environmental Health Sciences Health Policy and Management
Read Faculty Profile
Faculty/staff profile placeholder image
Barbara Berman
Health Policy and Management
Read Faculty Profile
Faculty/staff profile placeholder image
Julie A. Elginer

EMPH Academic Program Director with expertise in healthcare marketing, finance, and reproductive health policy, teaching in the EMPH, MPH, MHA program

Health Policy and Management
Read Faculty Profile
Faculty/staff profile placeholder image
Emmeline Chuang
Health Policy and Management
Read Faculty Profile
Mangione, C
Carol Mangione
Health Policy and Management
Read Faculty Profile
Galper, Michael
Michael Galper
Health Policy and Management
Read Faculty Profile
Faculty/staff profile placeholder image
Steven Teutsch
Health Policy and Management
Read Faculty Profile
Dr. Daniel Eisenberg
Daniel Eisenberg
Health Policy and Management
Read Faculty Profile
Faculty/staff profile placeholder image
David Hayes-Bautista
Health Policy and Management
Read Faculty Profile
Roshan Bastani Headshot
Roshan Bastani
Health Policy and Management
Read Faculty Profile
Warren Scott Comulada
Warren Scott Comulada
Health Policy and Management
Read Faculty Profile
Dr. Anthony Schiff
Anthony Hunter Schiff
Health Policy and Management
Read Faculty Profile
Patricia Ganz
Patricia Ganz
Health Policy and Management
Read Faculty Profile
Sangeeta Ahluwalia
Sangeeta Ahluwalia
Health Policy and Management
Read Faculty Profile
Dr. Yvonne Flores
Yvonne Flores
Health Policy and Management
Read Faculty Profile
Leah Vriesman
Leah Vriesman
Health Policy and Management
Read Faculty Profile

Related Content

CHPR_2024_firearms_suiciderisk_thumbnail
April 30, 2024
Access to firearms for Californians aged 15–24 associated with increased suicide risk
Source: UCLA Center for Health Policy Research Read Full Article
Dr._Ying-Ying_Meng
April 16, 2024
In memoriam: Dr. Ying-Ying Meng, 68, scholar of environmental health and director of research at the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research
Source: UCLA Center for Health Policy Research Read Full Article